After West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s intervention, PSU wagon maker Burn Standard and Company late Thursday evening lifted the suspension it imposed at its Howrah unit earlier in the day following alleged assault of a senior manager.
“Following assurance of the state government, we have decided to lift suspension of work notice from the Howrah unit from this midnight,” G H Nag, DGM (P&A), told PTI.
This morning the Chief Minister urged the Burn Standard management to lift the suspension of work and also asked the Chief Secretary Sanjay Mitra to intervene into the matter following which the company officials met the Home Secretary Basudeb Banerjee during the day who had assured of all administrative help from the state government side to the PSU.
Commenting on the incident, Banerjee told reporters during the day, “There was no incident of any assault, there was argument. I cross-checked from three sources. If 176 persons were suddenly retrenched... They have their livelihood. They went to talk (to the management). But I heard they were asked to get out.”
“I asked the chief secretary to talk to the Burn Standard MD. It is not correct to declare suspension of work. It should be withdrawn. I want the matter to be settled peacefully. If both sides show flexibility, it will be easier to settle it,” she said.
The PSU had resorted suspension of work at the Howrah unit following alleged assault of a senior managerial staff by a section of contractual workers who were laid off by the company due to declining sales turnover as wagon prices had fallen.
Of the odd-800 contractual workers nearly 176 of them had been laid off in December 2013 after which they had started a series of agitation both inside and outside the Howrah factory.
Meanwhile, the section of workers who had resorted to hunger strike from February 11, 2015, have withdrawn it.
After the alleged assault of the GM of the Howrah unit, the Burn Standard management had filed an FIR at a local police station against five persons.
The Howrah unit employs nearly 250 officers and employees on the roll and around 600 contractual workers presently.